Mike Touchette, Peoples Temple Member: When I first went into Jonestown, it was just a footpath in the rainforest. Stanley Clayton, Peoples Temple Member: There wasn’t a week that went by that I wasn’t called up on the floor because of my behavior, because of my attitude. Nice little comment from Angie Martinez there… Kenneth Clark, Harrigan No! Forty years on from America’s most infamous massacre, this harrowing documentary traces the Rev Jim Jones’s suicide sect – and hears from the handful who made it out alive 1978’s Jonestown massacre was one of the first times that cults entered the public imagination, after 909 extreme Marxist followers of Jim Jones died in Guyana after drinking Kool-Aid laced with poison. But ya The Game has a doc, and Jadakiss. In 1978 over 900 people led by Rev. “It’s impossible to say exactly what went on that day,” says Nelson. O. James Fox Collection, Indiana Historical Society His harangues over the loudspeaker were getting more and more frantic, and really just sounding more and more insane. He was sitting up. Stephen Sung, Sound Technician: We drove back to the airstrip, Port Kaituma. You — you could hear it all the time. Phyllis Wilmore-Zimmerman, Childhood Friend: I grew up with Jimmy Jones. I was there the afternoon that Edith drove away. Performed by the Sterling Jubilee Singers I was sent backstage in Los Angeles to — to get something for somebody, I don’t remember what. There was nothing dignified about it. Seemingly everyone we know is obsessed with Netflix’s Wild Wild Country, the six-part documentary about the Rajneeshee cult in Oregon. Jim Jones (archival, subtitles): Mother, mother, mother, mother, mother please. He passed a note!”. Deborah Layton, Peoples Temple Member, Author, Seductive Poison: As older people joined, it took a year or so and he’d convince the people that he was doing so much in the community and so why not rather than just tithe your twenty percent, why not sell your home, give the money to the church? Woman (archival): Before I came here, I was taking LSD, marijuana, every type of dope you can imagine. (Enter your ZIP code for information on American Experience events and screening in your area.). Jim Jones attracted a large following to his Peoples Temple through sermons on tolerance, social responsibility and community. He yelled, “Oh [expletive].” He said he got — he got shot. Tim Carter, Peoples Temple Member: Maria Katsaris walked up to him and whispered in his ear, and he looked at her and said, “Is there anyway to make it taste less bitter?” And she said, “No, no apparently not.” And he said, “Is it quick?” And she said, “Yeah, it’s supposed to be quick.”. Composed by Charles Stepney, Maurice White, and Verdine Adams White This doc begs the question as to how or not Patrick’s large underground network followers became their own kind of cult. Let all the story of this Peoples Temple be told.”. Tim Carter, Peoples Temple Member: On the last day of Jonestown, Christine Miller stood up and said, “I don’t want to die here. But one thing I can say, at least we tried and we didn’t sit back and wait on the laurels for somebody else to try it. We must not allow these kind of things to enter our consciousness. Some leading scientists say, “We have to have euthanasia.” Oh, no. Marshall Kilduff, Journalist: The sheer staginess, the controlled atmosphere that sort of enclosed this guy, made him so unusual, so different than the norm, that it made me very curious. You join a religious organization, you join a political movement, and you join with people that you really like. So all you could hear the engine noise. Janice Flood There he promised them a modern-day Garden of Eden. Jim Jones (archival): We had a lady who visited us a week ago here and was speaking to one at the door, and she was a member of a prominent church, a pastor’s wife, and she said, “I think that the poor should be made to control how many children they bring into the earth.” You remember? People were being taken to airports. They were a span of ages, a span of races. But if it’s so damned bad, why is he leaving his son here? Quickly! Deborah Layton, Peoples Temple Member, Author, Seductive Poison: I had traveled on Bus Seven, which was Jim’s bus. Jen Holmes Congressman Leo Ryan (archival): I think that all of you know that I am here to find out more about — questions have been raised about your operation here. Incredibly, Jones’s son Stephen was away at the time and thus survived — he and other survivors stories serve as grim testimony to what was the biggest single loss of American life pre-9/11. A conservative candidate and a liberal candidate, George Moscone. Stand up. Bryan Kravitz, Peoples Temple Member: He was there for three evenings, and the third evening I went off on the bus and came to California. Oddball Film+Video Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh relocated his followers there in the 80s in search of enlightenment and utopia, but in episode one we’re already being told by the FBI that the move resulted in the largest poisoning case in the USA (amongst other truly awful things). Fulcrum TV Hue Fortson Jr., Peoples Temple member Move forward. I could see myself in Jonestown walking, and when I looked to my left, there was my son. But for people to come from extremely religious backgrounds — so that I can bring them forward to the message that’s so important for all of us today and that is activism — then I need to speak on each person’s level.”, Hue Fortson Jr., Peoples Temple Member: He said, “A lot of you people, you Christian people coming in, you’re so hung-up on this Bible.” He said, “This black book has held down black people for the last two-hundred years.” He said, “But I’m going to show you this has no power.” So he leaned way back like a football player and he flung it. What does it take to get someone to leave a cult? He wasn’t going to be gaining large numbers of members. That’s what was happening. We were going to wait for them to come in and we were going to kill 'em all when they came in. Scientology seems like a great place to start in your cult film (sorry) marathon, being perhaps the most well-publicized and well-funded secret society of modern times. Phyllis Wilmore-Zimmerman, Childhood Friend: My brothers came back with stories of him conducting funerals for small animals that had died. It was very quiet. It was rural. And that is what people began to do. Woman (archival): Thank you very much, thank you. Please, just let me catch my breath; let me figure out what’s happening here. We realized these people catch up from people from Jim Jones, they’re very close lieutenant to Jim Jones. Mike Touchette, Peoples Temple member The government was not taking care of the people. USC, School of Cinema-Television, David Gottlieb and Jim Ruxin Everything was plausible, except in retrospect, the whole thing seems absolutely bizarre. So she looked in the Indianapolis Star, and in that Indianapolis Star was Jim Jones’s ad that he had some monkeys to sell. The documentary depicted the story of Jim Jones and his followers of “People’s Temple”. I said, “You dropped something,” and this little boy, about nine years old, started saying, “He passed a note! The powerful two hour special “jonestown: the women behind the massacre,” focuses on four women in jim jones’ inner circle who helped plan the 1978 jonestown massacre, one of the largest murder suicide events in modern history which left 918 men, women and children dead. Bass Photo Co Collection, Indiana Historical Society And there was a sort of feeling that smaller groups — neighborhood groups, activist groups — had a bigger chance. And I went Wednesday night and I listened to him, and I was impressed by how it was such an interracial group and people were really happy. Stephen Sung, Sound Technician: The gun’s dead and all we can hear — this one engine was still running. I mean, I just felt the life go out of him. You ought to just take off your clothes and show him what you got. Jim Jones (archival): Edie. They stared at us for a little bit, but they didn’t say one word. They had a little medical clinic, a little daycare area. People could not leave him. You can’t describe it. Mike Touchette, Peoples Temple Member (archival): Hello family. “I represent divine principle, total equality, a society where people own all things in common, where there’s no rich or poor, where there are no races. Five years later, an extended family of eighty people had become an organization of thousands. Published by George M. Cohan Music Publishing Company They’ll do anything to keep us from doing what we’re doing. How is it going? Jim Jones Jr., Peoples Temple Member: The move to California was really fun. All of a sudden, we saw a dump truck from far away arriving to this airstrip. The Family is nonfiction; it’s all true. I love it here and this is the place where all of you are going to be. He wasn’t going to let him in. It has been almost 30 years since the mass suicide at Jonestown, Guyana, shocked the world. Darkness settles over Jonestown on its last day on Earth.”. Jordan Vilchez, Peoples Temple Member: It’s like a child in a dysfunctional family. Tim Carter, Peoples Temple Member (archival): I have never been so totally happy or fulfilled in my life. The Occult. Tim Carter, Peoples Temple Member: The songs that we sang that night — it was people saying, “This is who we are and this is what we are about.”. Blinded by the Light (1998) Terrific documentary that tries to explain the phenomenon of modern cults and why their followers would sacrifice... Bobby March 14, 2013. Jones had a vision for a better world and established the Peoples Temple to help make that happen. Girl (archival): Yeah. Joyce Shaw-Houston, Peoples Temple Member: Jim said that this was a test of loyalty. With various assassinations — Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy — there was definitely a feeling of hopelessness. I want to go find out for myself.”. Joyce Shaw-Houston, Peoples Temple Member: We were celebrating New Years Eve. Jim Jones (archival): Move forward. And I was sitting there and I thought, “That’s weird — it smells like alcohol next to me.” And he leaned over and he said, “Do you know what you do to me?” He had informed me that I was to come in — on Bus Seven, there was a room in the back for just him. My wife was there. They had cabins. We got to get out of here. You could hear it when you’re in the outhouse. And I said to her, “Well, if you’re going to speak publicly — I’m going to speak with you. It’s been a — it’s such a joy and great pleasure being here, because of Father’s love. Without our pastor, Jim Jones, to teach me the right way, I would not be in college right now. “Yeah, that’s a good idea.”. Adapted for Film by Tom Phillips.
ECS8C_C01.qxd IMT Custom Machine Company, Inc.: Selection of an Information Technology What does this story, overall, tell you about leadership? Rebecca Moore, Relative of Peoples Temple Member: There was this pervasive sense of being under attack in Jonestown. Do you think they ought to get a good boxing?” And then he’d get a resounding roar, “Yes!”. Jackie Speier, Aide to Congressman Leo Ryan (archival, subtitles): Now do I both understand you to say that you both want to leave Jonestown on this date, November 18th, 1978? You could hear it when you were working in the field. The True Jim Jones Documentary Jimmy has so much swagger this movie has to be pure fucking gold. The Temple was burned down and had to be rebuilt. Neva Sly Hargrave, Peoples Temple Member: What he spoke about were things that were in our hearts. Woman (archival): Don’t you touch my kids! Jim Jones in 1978, in Jonestown, the year he would go on to cause the deaths of nearly a thousand (AP) AP/words by Adam Lusher How 918 followed a cult leader to Guyana and died in a single day Jay Fialkov Fred Lewis came home and found that his wife had taken their seven children and gone to Guyana, along with all their possessions. Jim Jones (archival): At least on those terms, we choose our death and no one chooses it for us. Jim Jones (archival, subtitles): Die with a degree of dignity! Denice Stephenson, California Historical Society Male Peoples Temple Member (archival): Won’t listen to you, huh? Jim Jones (archival): I have the power to send you home by Christmas, but it’s not on Transworld Airlines. I gave my rights up to him. Supporting Mobile Health Clinics: The Children’s Health Fund of New York City
CASE STUDIES With Jim Jones, Frank Reynolds, John Moscatelli, Grace Stoen. Approximately eighty Jonestown residents, including three of Jim Jones’ sons, were away that day and survived. Laura Johnston Kohl, Peoples Temple Member: I never believed in Heaven in my whole life. Tim Carter, Peoples Temple Member: I went back to my cottage. Tim Carter's brother-in-law Lew Jones, who was the adopted son of Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones, is pictured with his son Chaeoke Jones at Jonestown in 1977. Jonestown: The Life and Death of … Maureen Jordan My son was dead and he was frothing at the mouth. "Oh Boy" controversy. Certified Gangsters set. The grandmother may not be able to work anymore, but the father and mother guarantees her the right to live. Grace Stoen, Peoples Temple member We don’t have the answers, despite our addiction to brainwashing-themed programming, but maybe the following docs do. 7 months ago. Just like everything else, cults are a reflection of their times, and the story of the primary color clad Rajneeshees is no different. Hue Fortson Jr., Peoples Temple Member: We would always try to let each other know the next day, “Well, how long did you sleep?” “Oh, I slept two hours.” “You only slept two? They didn’t ask anything. He was standing in the middle of a duffel bag. (On-screen text): Voice of Jim Jones, 1953. But when Jones was present, it was very, very dark. Garrett Lambrev, Peoples Temple Member: The Peoples Temple services, they had life, they had soul, they had power. Jim Jones, the charismatic leader of … We have different containers surrounding the place — we couldn’t go through all of the tremendous inventory they built up. I drunk alcohol and stuff like that. I’m not going to let you do this alone.”, Marshall Kilduff, Journalist: I finally heard from some ex-members who heard I was interested in writing a story about the Temple for New West magazine, and they took a chance. What can I do about liars? People file by us slowly and take the somewhat bitter drink. She didn’t help her cause by her unsocial manner. Fielding McGehee, Relative of Peoples Temple Member: Eventually, the rhetoric ratchets up enough that she is shouted down. Jim Jones, leader of the People’s Temple, has come to symbolize the ultimate in sleazy, evil cult figures. Jim Jones (archival): The world is like a human family. Tim Carter, Peoples Temple member I just loved that we created what we ate, that we did all these jobs. If you came in as a stranger and didn’t know anything about the politics, you were thinking you were entering an old-time religion service. Jim Jones (archival): Well, then be seated and shut your mouth and don’t be in my face anymore. Now take your other leg and do it.” And so another real slow, shaky step and he says, “Now I want you to walk toward me.”. Jim Jones Jr., Peoples Temple Member: He talked black. Jackie Speier, Aide to Congressman Leo Ryan: Then the Congressman ran under the plane, and I sort of followed suit and got behind one of the tires. Male Peoples Temple Member (archival): What you think about your friends back down in the States? Sign up for the American Experience newsletter! Jim Jones, Jr., Peoples Temple member Kristine Kravitz, Peoples Temple Member: There were people who ran rest homes. It’s blasphemy to talk about going back when you have not been given any approval! Deadly Cults (2013) ... History Channel's 'Decoding the Past' documentary series takes a close look at the dark, destructive power of... Bobby December 15, 2012. Jim Jones’ sons tell all in new Jonestown doc. Quickly! And so I picked up the note and I — and I gave it back to him. KGO TV Then, shortly thereafter, Congressman Ryan starts walking out in this bloodstained shirt. Jim Jones had political power that few people, let alone preachers, could have imagined. Reporter (archival): Do you want to stay? You ain’t got nothing.” And so, by this time, they looked back to Jones and so he looks over his glasses, and he nods with approval. Male Peoples Temple Member (archival): Would you do it? And pretty soon she’s running. Greg Shea, Legal My wife died in my arms and my dead baby son was in her arms. c/o Carlin America, Inc. Neva Sly Hargrave, Peoples Temple Member: And she starts taking forward steps. He and I were Star Trek fans, and he used to always say, “Just vulcanize yourself. George Troy So it was through that that she met Jim Jones, and came back saying that he had invited her to church this next Sunday. We came and there was this strange man in her house, and her husband wasn’t there. Elspeth Domville Yes, we tried it. Jackie Speier, Aide to Congressman Leo Ryan: Congressman Ryan was unique in the political sphere. He saw that the preachers were like father figures to their congregations. or communication with parents or any kind of, you know, update that could show us, really, that there’s a whole other thing going on besides what Jim was interpreting for us. If you’re in need of transportation, you get that. But yet still, everyday it was getting worse and worse. So when he was in the state assembly, he went to Folsom State Prison and spent a week as an inmate to understand the prison issues and prison reform. Laura Johnston Kohl, Peoples Temple Member: My week kind of ran like this — I’d work my regular job on Mondays, you know, eight to five. Quickly! Female Peoples Temple Member (archival): I wished I could. James Warren Jones was born on May 13, 1931 to Lynetta Putnam and Jim Jones, Senior in Crete, Indiana. June Cordell, Relative of Peoples Temple Member: It didn’t make no difference what color you were. Jordan Vilchez lost two sisters and two nephews. A documentary on the 40th anniversary of the largest murder-suicide in American history, when over 900 members of the Peoples Temple consumed a deadly cyanide-laced drink on the orders of leader Jim Jones; interviews with Jones' two surviving sons. Jim Jones (archival, subtitles): but also they deserve…what’s more, they deserve peace. They were well looked after. Never heard a man speak like this man before. He had a bed. Garnett Day, Minister: Jim was breaking new ground in race relations at a time when the ground was still pretty hard against that. Hue Fortson Jr., Peoples Temple Member: Being in an environment where you’re constantly up, you’re constantly busy, and you’re made to feel guilty if you take too many luxuries like sleeping — you tend to not really think for yourself. They had crops growing. Eugene and June Cordell, Personal Collection Not Mississippi, I’m talking about New York State. It just didn’t feel right. 1951 – Jim’s father dies, after which Jim and his wife move to Indianapolis. Laura Johnston Kohl, Peoples Temple Member: Over the summer of 1978, all of us noticed that Jim was — seemed to be getting sicker. Neva Sly Hargrave, Peoples Temple Member: Jim started changing a lot in the seventies. You can do it. Former Peoples Temple Member (archival): He was talking integration. It is really nice here. Stephen Sung, Sound Technician: We were there, supposed to interview some of the family members to ask them why they cannot leave. Oakland Tribune Neva Sly Hargrave, Peoples Temple Member: One of the most incredible healings, to me, was this little old lady and she was in a wheelchair. Janet Shular, Peoples Temple Member: People were brought up front and asked — had to tell who they had slept with and who they had sneaked off to a restaurant with. With Jim Jones, Frank Reynolds, John Moscatelli, Grace Stoen. Included in your analysis should be things like (not limited to, but inclusive of) was Jim Jones a great leader? Fingers, are your fingers numb in your right hand? Jesus Camp is a fascinating look into the psychology of Evangelicals in the USA, and how their warlike mindset has swayed the nation’s politics in their direction. They drove this truck all the way across the airstrip and stop on this side of the plane, so literally they cut us off from the jungle. Jones had a vision for a better world and established the Peoples Temple to help make that happen. E. A. Phillips and Michelle G. Phillips In 1977, as media interest grew Jim Jones and hundreds of his supporters left San Francisco, California and set out for Guyana determined to build a new community in the South American country. They try to hide underneath the wheels. 6 months ago. As the group boarded planes to leave, they were shot at by several temple members. The remote Guyana outpost of cult leader Jim Jones' Peoples Temple, Jonestown was the site of a 1978 massacre that resulted in the deaths of more than 900 people. It’s overwhelming, it really is. The racial integration became self-fulfilling at some point; the congregation itself became the draw. I Never Heard a Man Tim Reiterman, Journalist: He saw that they were a surrogate home. Louis Theroux’s documentary is more personal than HBO’s exceptional Going Clear, but that’s not on Netflix. And he realizes that this article is going to be hugely damning, and it was midway through it he mouths to all of us in the room, “We’re leaving tonight.” They flew out to Guyana, six hours before that article was going to hit. I was really shaking, but I didn’t move. This trailer is mostly Dame Dash bigging Jimmy up, which is unfortunate because Dame seems to have lost his outlandish vitality that made him so interesting back around 2000. Published by EMI Longitude Music What he didn’t foresee, obviously, was the descent into moral panic, poisoning, and immigration fraud, culminating in both the locals and the Rajneeshees forming militias. Deborah Layton, Peoples Temple Member, Author, Seductive Poison: The membership increased substantially as he procured more and more Greyhound buses and fixed them up, and every summer he began this cross-country tour. Jim Jones (archival): Take your glasses off. By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing, I’m a Soldier (In The Army of the Lord) Jim Jones - Watch the documentary (can be located on YouTube or Netflix) on the story of Jim Jones. Jim Jones (archival): The United States is calling for the removal of all Blacks and Indians. They called me and some of them said, you know, “You don’t know nothing about the Church. And the bag fell and he was gone. They’ll torture some of our children here. Watch Documentary. Jim Jones Jr., Peoples Temple Member: My father used to tell me that people’s lives — sixty percent of people’s lives — were made on emotional decisions. Julia Conley The sky turned black. Pyramid Media It was almost like a dark cloud. And because his wife couldn’t relate to him as a wife — that Carolyn had taken over that role. We didn’t commit suicide. Phillip Klum, Jigsaw Sound, NYC, Colorist In 1977, as media interest grew Jim Jones and hundreds of his supporters left San Francisco, California and set out for Guyana determined to build a new community in the South American country. Andrea Robinson Anybody wants to get out of here, can get out of here. With Rebecca Moore, Janet Shular, Tim Carter, Stanley Clayton. Hue Fortson Jr., Peoples Temple Member: I never had any dreams of Jonestown until this one dream came. Yes, it was a failure. Wherever there is people struggling for justice and righteousness, there I am. Because it just seemed so beautiful. And just right when I got ready to reach to touch his head, he pulled the bag up like this. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection I was an alcoholic. They have no problem about getting out of here. Kristine Kravitz, Peoples Temple Member: Pretty soon we were seeing film footage of the first crew that went down there. The birds gather on the telephone wires. So at that point, we knew that something was very, very wrong. Had nothing to do with revolutionary suicide, nothing to do about making a [expletive] statement, it was just senseless waste, senseless waste and death. Well, you know, you’re very tired! Vernon Gosney, Peoples Temple Member: Jim Jones represented the Peoples Temple as a progressive movement that was threatened. Kristine Kravitz, Peoples Temple member Stephan Jones and Jim Jones Jr., the surviving son of Jim Jones, tell all in a new documentary about the Jonestown massacre. Oh, no. Get the latest on new films and digital content, learn about events in your area, and get your weekly fix of American history. Who knows what it is? But don’t do this. Eugene Smith, Peoples Temple Member: When Jim Jones wasn’t there, things tended to be a little bit lighter. KTVU Hue Fortson Jr., Peoples Temple Member: I remember one night, one of the brothers had stood up and said, “You know, I think everybody that wants Father to [expletive] them in the butt, you need to take an enema first.” I’m telling you the truth man, I’m telling you the truth. Neva Sly Hargrave, Peoples Temple member Kristine Kravitz, Peoples Temple Member: We all wanted to go. And as I lay there frightened, not sure what to do, and as I shivered, he’d say to me, “This is for you. He continued his flamboyant methods, lying down on the ice between fur hunters and baby harp seals on a fact-finding mission to Newfoundland. Paul J. 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